Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Archive for the ‘Determined’ Category

Your Decisions Will Cost You

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 18:5-6 (NLT)

TEXT:   5Paul spent all his time preaching the word. He testified to the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah. But when they opposed and insulted him, Paul shook the dust from his clothes and said, “Your blood is upon your own heads—I am innocent. From now on I will go preach to the Gentiles.”

OBSERVATION:   Paul was a very patient evangelist of the Gospel of Christ. He had a passion for reaching the lost, and also those who allowed other teachings to hide them from the truth of the Gospel. However, he was a very smart man, and one who was closely in tuned with the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore Paul realized that he could not force anyone to believe on the name of Jesus, so he allowed God to direct him when to move on, so that the people would feel the absence of the Savior. This is still very prevalent today, so let’s dig deeper into this.

APPLICATION:   One of the most joyous occasions in a church is to help welcome a new pastor to serve at your church. For those who dig in and work along with the pastor to accomplish the work of the Lord in His local church, one of the saddest events in a church is when a pastor feels compelled to leave your church. Way too often, it’s for reasons very similar to the scenario faced by Paul, for the people are steeped in tradition and refuses to accept the love and preaching from men who, they feel, don’t fit the mold of their personal ideals for a ‘perfect’ pastor. Unfortunately, this could mean that in spite of their gentle heart for the Lord and His work here on earth, yet the man presenting the gospel is a mortal man, and this is often reflected through his casual talk; the friends (church members) that he hangs out with during his downtime; the jokes that he uses to help demonstrate or illustrate the story being preached that day; and the casual dress throughout the week is even being brought into the pulpit. However, he has a passion for the lost; he is a student of the Word of God and faithfully communicates with God about His perfect will for your church. Friends, these same pastors leave our church because of silly things that hurt them and their family, and they go on to another church where God is at liberty to work through them to reach the people of that community. Often these pastors brush the dust off their feet when they leave your church – the dirt of distrust; lack of communication; lack of acceptance and cooperation; excessive gossip about them and/or their family; refusal to allow God in and use you as part of the ministry at your church. Oh that we might remember that we are all equal at the foot of the cross. While here on earth we should be preparing ourselves, with the help of God, to see our old selves changed into the likeness of God as we prepare for that day when we will see Him face to face. Our time here should now be spent getting rid of old habits and the tricks we played on people that hurt them so badly. Our time should be spent in developing an attitude like that of Christ, and getting along with all men and women, even those that the world might look at and wonder why do we bother. Friends, I wonder if the blood of others may not sometimes be upon our shoulders it we had a part in steering them away from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

PRAYER:   Lord Jesus, it is so challenging to live here on earth and imitate You in every way. Often we find many excuses and reasons why we can’t, but Lord I humbly plead that You would melt our hardened hearts so that we might see our old selves with its flawed character, step aside as we assume the life that You have given to us and demonstrated for us. People need the Lord. They need to see You. They need to hear from You. If that’s not happening through us, then please teach us to step aside and not be a stumbling block to those You are trying to reach. I pray that You might be able to use me Lord, but I would rather Your will, not mine. To God be the glory, for all that You will accomplish! AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Your Character Reference From God

SCRIPTURE  FROM:   Acts 13:21-23 (NIV)

TEXT:  21 Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’  23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.

OBSERVATION:   Paul was given the opportunity to speak before the church at Pisidian Antioch while worshiping with them. He delivered a message on how gracious God had been in ruling through His servants up to the present time. My attention was particularly taken aback with Paul’s reminder of what God said about David, and how he was a man after God’s own heart. Let’s think this through and apply it…

APPLICATION:   In each of our lives, I believe that we have our own opinion about who we are. Our spouse and kids know us real good and have their opinion about who we really are. Our pastor, and church leaders may have a slightly different opinion about us, and so will our boss and co-workers. But what about the God of this universe, who sees and knows all things? What might His opinion be about us? So what about David? We read a lot about him in Scripture. He was a great warrior, and therefore led many victories. He is known for his relationship with God through his songs, prayers and open communication to God. But yet he is also known for his weaknesses, especially with a pretty lady named Bathsheba, who was married to one of Davids best military men. Yet God considered this man to be ‘a man after His own heart’? To help us understand that, allow me to use an illustration: I would like for you to think with me about two men that leave destination ‘A’ driving north. One is determined that his end point will be an amusement park (point ‘B’) 200 miles north of point ‘A’, while the other gentleman is just driving north looking for a fun weekend with his family. After the first 100 miles, they each get off the freeway for lunch and for some physical activity to help prepare themselves to travel longer. The first gentleman finishes lunch, tops off the gas in his car, and gets back on the freeway headed for his final destination. The second gentleman overhears conversation by patrons at the restaurant where he had lunch, and he decides to drive some more on that same exit to find the beach he overheard conversation about. At the end of the day, who do you suppose is nearest to point ‘B’? Just like David, you and I face distractions in life, like these two drivers had when they got off on an exit. However, if we have our minds set on eternity with Jesus Christ and His Father, like the first driver had on his final destination, then we strive to get back on course as quickly as we could, without caving in to the temptations of this world. I can think of no greater honor than to hear my Master refer to me as ‘a man after my own heart’. Staying on course in this life is like saying to God at our conversion, ’till death do us part’; ‘I am determined to serve thee to the end of time’; ‘I have no other goal than to live my life in light of eternity’! How about you friend?

PRAYER:   Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your precious Son and Your Comforter – the Holy Spirit to help keep us on course for our final destination, that You have prepared just for our arrival. I believe that You foreknew the distractions that might take us off course, so You sent the Holy Spirit to guide and direct us. As we travel, we are leaving much behind us, but Lord how it hurts to know that family, friends and loved ones are comfortable staying behind and settling for eternal life in damnation with Satan. Please touch the lives of our unsaved loved ones again today Lord, and continue to draw them unto Yourself. There are many who have found no purpose in their trip of life, so every distraction of Satan is just another exploration of fun on earth with a final destination of Hell. Lord, please keep our eyes fixed on You and our hearts fixed on pleasing You in everything we do. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

 

Get Away With The Lord

Post Date:

Tuesday, 2017-04-04
SCRIPTURE

From:

Exodus 34:23-24 (NIV)

Text:

23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God.
OBSERVATION:
This is an interesting meeting Moses had with the Lord. After the last similar meeting, Moses returned to his people, and became so angry at finding them worshiping idols again, that he threw down the stones upon which God had written the Ten Commandments. God had Moses write the Commandments on the stones this time, but He also ordered Moses to gather the men together and meet with Him (God) three times per year while they attended festivals. It sounds like God wants time together with His leaders!
APPLICATION:
At a time when it is extremely challenging to get men out to church on the weekends, and especially at midweek prayer and Bible study, we were able to take a group from our church to a Bible based, Spirit led, prayer conference for approximately two full days. These days were filled with the Word of God, as Scripture was given to each participant; songs prompted by the Holy Spirit; and prayer from the heart of each attendee, as prompted by God. No agenda, just waiting before the Lord and obeying the leading of His Holy Spirit. What might seem amazing to many, is that the crowd doubled in size the second year! What a sweet, Holy Ghost filled, time with the Lord! We returned to our church fired up, renewed and ready for the Lord to continue His work in and through us. This helped me to identify with what God was telling Moses to do. I wonder, if your pastor organized a get-away at your church: How many men would sacrifice vacation time to go and spend devoted time with the Lord? How many wives or girlfriends would encourage husbands or boyfriends to please go and participate? How many employers would welcome the time off for employees that they suspect would return and pray for the success of their business? Friends, I wonder how many gods we place before the God of this universe when we can’t find time for church services over the weekend or a discipleship class during the week? We tend to blame it on ‘time’, but may I recommend that you use the word ‘priority’ when explaining why you couldn’t participate/attend? Especially use that word when praying to God at the end of each day. Imagine: Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not making it a priority to hear from You through reading Your Word today? Lord, please forgive me that I made it a priority to take my family to the beach today/took my wife shopping today/went to have lunch with old friends today; played golf today…. but didn’t make it a priority to take my family to church. Can we, in all good conscience, add to the end of those excuses: ‘but bless me anyway and guide the thoughts of my troubled son this week’??? Friends, I believe that we are either all for God, or we’re not. I know that we can’t be at every single church gathering, but sincerely before God, we must be ready to answer His question on the priority of our day/time. Please consider taking time away to draw close to God, so that He might draw close to you. I don’t believe that there could be one thing more strengthening for your relationship with God, which will also enrich your relationship with your family and coworkers.
PRAYER:
Lord God, please forgive us for the many excuses we come up with regarding our priorities. Too often You are placed at the bottom of the list, or as a last resort. This must be turned around if we ever expect to draw close to You, or encourage/convince an unbeliever. Please give us strength, boldness and self-determination to serve You wholeheartedly and without excuses. You gave up Your life for us, how much more can we do in return? Give Your children boldness and commitment today I sincerely plead dear God, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE:
There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’.  If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Found ‘GUILTY’ of Praying?

Sunday, 2016-11-13

Scripture

Bible Reference: Daniel 6:10-11

Bible Text: 10 When Daniel learned that the decree had been signed and posted, he continued to pray just as he had always done. His house had windows in the upstairs that opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he knelt there in prayer, thanking and praising his God. 11 The conspirators came and found him praying, asking God for help.

Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take

Many of us meditating on this scripture today probably don’t have any state laws prohibiting us from any religious activities, but I wonder when last we could have possibly been found guilty of ‘praying’? Over in Philippians 4:6 we are told to not fret or worry about anything, but instead ‘pray’ about everything, yet in a country where we are free to pray and worship the God of this universe, we ‘worry’ so much that our doctors probably deal more with depression and anxiety than anything else. Daniel shows us that in spite of man’s efforts to hinder his relationship with his God, that nothing would separate him from the love of his Lord. I would encourage each of us to take particular note of this, because it doesn’t take much to hinder us in our prayer life. Of course I could only speak to our corporate prayer life, but it is sad that our midweek prayer and Bible study is attended by only a very small percentage of our congregation. In fact, so poorly attended that I am reminded by the words of a pastor in my younger life, who said that it looks like the church at large has voted to cancel the service, for the absence of the vast majority speaks volumes about how they feel about corporate prayer meetings. In fact, I wonder how God must feel when He looks at our corporate prayer meeting attendance, for He said through His servant in 1 Thessalonians 5:18Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.’ So friends I would challenge you to seriously consider and declare who you are claiming as your King; your Lord; and your Master. Have you personally accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? God’s Word tells us that if you have, then you would have a desire to ‘pray all the time’. If your ‘love-for-God’ meter is measured by your prayer life, are you proud of the love you show to God every day? How about your concern for the church as a whole, do you attend corporate prayer enough to pray for its survival and its outreach for your community? Is your pastor empowered because of your prayers for him? Daniel maintained his prayer life in spite of a new law being enacted that he knew could have led to his imprisonment. How valid do you feel your excuses are for not attending your corporate prayer services, compared to Daniel’s commitment in the circumstances he was under?

Prayer

Lord God, we are a sorry bunch considering all the gracious gifts that You bless us with every day, compared to the uncaring attitude we take in returning thanks to You. Friends are dying every day without Jesus, and ashamedly we acknowledge that our prayers and our influence in their lives could have made a difference. We have read, heard and seen the power of prayer, yet many have chosen to ignore its power through their attendance and commitment to pray corporately. Please forgive us Lord. I feel like we are witnessing the greatest need for revival probably in the life of Your church here on earth. Only those who have actually accepted you as Lord can be ‘revived’, so Lord, please begin a great work in the life of Your church – Your people. May Your children be reminded of the power of prayer, and their obligation to converse with their Master. We need you heavenly Father, revive Your church again, I pray. AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Toughened For The Battle As We Serve

Thursday, 2016-07-14

Scripture

Bible Reference: Ezekiel 3:4–7

Bible Text:  4 The LORD said: Ezekiel, I am sending you to your own people. 7 They are Israelites, not some strangers who speak a foreign language you can’t understand. If I were to send you to foreign nations, they would listen to you. 7 But the people of Israel will refuse to listen, because they have refused to listen to me. All of them are stubborn and hardheaded,

Bible Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

My Take

Friends, there are a few substitutions I would like for you to make in the above verses: (1) Substitute the name of Ezekiel with your name, and (2) Substitute the reference to Israel or Israelites with the name of your country. Now re-read the verses with these substitutions. Hopefully you will see why this is just one more reason why God’s Word is so applicable to our current day, because people are still people – just as prone to sin and be hardhearted as indicated to Ezekiel. Although facing the same obstinate people as Ezekiel faced in his day, we may often feel like our country folk today are much worse at times! I believe that there are many times that our pastors and church leaders may often feel like throwing their hands up and saying ‘What’s the use’, until they read a story like this where God told Ezekiel that He would make him as stubborn and hardhearted as the people, but in a good way, so that he would toughen up for the task ahead. Friends, it is easy to cave in to the will of the people so that you may stay on good terms with them, and therefore feel like such a good cooperating citizen, but when we do that we become as bad as they are in their habits and likes and dislikes – in other words, we quickly become just like them in the face of a holy and righteous God. Friends, I am convinced that if God sends us, He will prepare us for the battle, and He will toughen us up to handle the scars of battle. Perhaps you are ready to give up your fight to imitate Jesus Christ in every aspect of your life and ministry, because of the opposition you are facing. Please be encouraged by the words of God to His servant Ezekiel, and know that this is the same God that we serve today. Let me encourage you to call out to God, and watch Him toughen you up for the battle also!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, You are holy and righteous, all-powerful and honorable in every way. You have prepared us for the tasks You have assigned us to, so please help us to keep our minds de-cluttered from any attempts by Satan to distract us from Your work/assignment. Many times it appears like there may not be an chance of success, but please help us to trust in You and allow You to do Your part in reaching the lost. We could never ‘save’ anyone. Please help us to do the work assigned to us and then watch the work that You will blossom in those lives. Please give us strength and wisdom every day to do Your perfect will, and may You receive glory for all that is accomplished through us, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

Why do you still trust God?

May I encourage you to get your spiritual ‘Nuggets’ to start your day off right? Pretty amazing that our awesome God would consider feeding even us with His Word! May I encourage you to read the whole devotional, and look for a blessing, friend!………

Today’s Bible Reference: Job 2:7–10
Today’s Bible Text: So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with a terrible case of boils from head to foot. Then Job took a broken piece of pottery to scrape himself and sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still trying to be godly when God has done all this to you? Curse him and die.” But he replied, “You talk like some heathen woman. What? Shall we receive only pleasant things from the hand of God and never anything unpleasant?” So in all this Job said nothing wrong.
The Bible Translation: The Living Bible (TLB)

My Take Away: In this life we have choices. We can sit in our corner and cry “Why Me, Lord?” all day long, and we may even write a song about it like the one I linked to. However, when one is totally surrendered to Jesus Christ, and as long as we remain here on this earth, we know that there will be times that God will shower His blessings on us and answer our prayers just like we might expect, and as outsiders looking in might expect from our awesome God. But what if God needs our experience to teach someone close to us something about His grace, or His mercy, or even His stand for perfect, unadulterated holy living? Job was introduced by God to Satan as the finest man on earth, and a man of integrity who truly trusted God, yet God allowed Job to be tested and tried beyond, what appears to be, anything a man could truly bear. But we are still learning lessons from this man even today. Friends, I believe that when we place our faith and trust in God, we have to be prepared to stand firm in that commitment with the faith that proves that we are willing to go beyond the good times and the great answers to prayer that we expect, but we need to also be aware that as God, He might sometimes answer our prayers for our best and His glory, in ways that we didn’t ask for or expect. Think about this friend, why would we ask God about a need, if we think that He only has the same answers as we do? We ask because we want His divine direction and we want responses that will bring glory to God. What has God benefited if answers to our prayers serve to lift us up only? I know of friends who have traveled hundreds of miles to be prayed over by certain evangelists. Who has been getting the praise in that ministry? Friends, my God is everywhere and He hears the heart-cry of all of His precious kids. In His desire to reach more of His rebellious kids, He may have to test us and allow us to respond to His testing in ways that might prove to the world who our Master truly is. Are you sincere in your relationship with God? Will you uphold the test of fire in your life and still claim Jesus as your Lord? Our military has very stringent punishment for desertion by soldiers, May I encourage you to stand firm in your faith and never face desertion charges by God?

Prayer: Father, way too often pride steps in the way for us and we cave in to popular belief, or worldly expectations. It is so easy to brag on You when everything is ‘going our way’, and when our success is what the world is expecting. I believe that all of this is true when we keep You included, because Lord Jesus, we simply don’t have all of the answers. Lord, we want to be used of You in ways that will help unbelievers to see Jesus. I’m sure that this will not always be pleasant for us, just as we saw with Job, but Lord I pray that we will be constantly reminded of the unpleasant action You took on the cross at Calvary so that we might have eternal life in glory with You. It is so important that we maintain our faith and trust in You Lord. Please touch us today with Your grace, mercy and love for others. We want the world to see the Jesus that we love, adore and trust with all things in our life. You oh Lord, are my King. Thank You from the bottom of my heart for being Lord of all my decisions. Bless my readers to sincerely trust in You for all things, for I ask this in the precious and loving name of Jesus, AMEN!

Footnote: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

2016

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